"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2.42, NIV).
Herman Ostry's barn floor was under twenty-nine inches of water because of a rising creek. The Bruno, Nebraska, farmer invited a few friends to a barn raising. He needed to move his entire 17,000-pound barn to a new foundation more than 143 feet away. His son Mike devised a lattice work of steel tubing, and nailed, bolted, and welded it on the inside and the outside of the barn. Hundreds of handles were attached.
After one practice lift, 344 volunteers slowly walked the barn up a slight incline, each supporting less than fifty pounds. In just three minutes, the barn was on its new foundation.
Reading again the story of the early Christians - before and after Pentecost - I have been impressed. "They all joined together constantly in prayer" (1.14) - some 120 of them. On the day of Pentecost, "they were all together in one place" (2.1). And after three thousand had believed the message Peter preached, "All the believers were together and had everything in common" (2.44).
One of today's "buzz-words" is "synergy" - the principle that a group can achieve together much more than the sum of what they can do individually. There is an energy or stimulus that comes from working together.
For those early disciples, it was far more than that. Jesus had promised them, "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (1.8). It was more than they could do together - "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" (2.4), a promise for all believers (vv. 38b, 39).
Extend our church? Make disciples in this rapidly growing area? Moving forward together with the Lord and with one another, we can!
© Peter J. Blackburn, Buderim Notes & News, June 1998